As a former employee at the Pro Football Hall of Fame I have a few pointers to make your Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival experience memorable and hassle free. Although I can’t share all of my “insider” knowledge, here are my top 5 tips and tricks for travelers:
1. Beat the crowds when you visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame museum Hall of Fame Weekend:
Purchase your tickets in advance and you can bypass the Pro Football Hall of Fame box office line and head straight into the museum to begin your tour. To avoid crowds once you’re inside the museum, visit during quieter times like Friday evening after 5 p.m., Saturday before11 a.m., and Sunday before 2 p.m.
2. Get a room close to all the action:
Don’t end up in the boondocks! There are still rooms available right here in Canton/Stark County. Check out this handy list we continually update with the latest hotel availability. But here’s the real trick, it’s important to CALL the hotel to make your reservation, some hotels will not allow online reservations during HOF Weekend.
3. Explore all that Canton/Stark County has to offer:
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival is Canton/Stark County’s “time to shine” so all of the area entertainment, attractions, and restaurants roll out the red carpet for our visitors. Check out this great list of deals and special offers around the area.
4. Catch a glimpse of your favorite Hall of Famers:
Hall of Fame Weekend is “homecoming” for the elite players, coaches and contributors honored with enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. This year around 80 returning Hall of Famers are anticipated to welcome in the Class of 2012. Here are your best locations to spot a football legend:
- Timken Grand Parade – The 2012 Class of Enshrinees and a large contingent of returning Hall of Famers will ride in the parade. This event makes for awesome photo ops as they drive slowly past, just a few feet away.
- Pro Football Hall of Fame – The best place to run into a Hall of Famer is at the Hall of Fame (duh!). Saturday is the most active. Pick a spot near the entrance and hang around for a while, you’re sure to see some of football’s royalty entering and exiting the museum throughout the course of the weekend.
- Fan Tailgate Parties – These pre-event parties take place on the Hall of Fame Campus prior to the Enshrinement Ceremony on Saturday and NFL/Hall of Fame Game on Sunday. Each party will feature a returning Hall of Famer available for autographs during the event.
- Autograph Sessions – If you just don’t want to risk it, and getting a certain autograph is a must, then purchasing your ticket to one of the formal autograph sessions is the only surefire solution.
5. Can’t miss events:
Everyone knows the Enshrinement Ceremony and the NFL/Hall of Fame Game are can’t miss events, but the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival features 19 diverse events to enjoy while you’re in town. See the full schedule.
Based on years of direct feedback the event that most visitors don’t know much about before they come but will never forget after they leave is the Enshrinees’ GameDay Roundtable. This event features the newly enshrined Class of 2012 in a candid, roundtable discussion. They are officially “Hall of Famers” and the pressure of the Enshrinement Ceremony speech is off their shoulders, so they let their hair down amongst friends in an unscripted, up-close-and-personal format.
The fan tailgate parties also make the list of can’t miss events. Fawcett Stadium is owned by Canton City Schools, therefore there are no beer sales in stadium, this makes the pre-event Enshrinement Celebration Fan Party on Saturday and Fan Appreciation Tailgate on Sunday a must do! Enjoy all inclusive beer, soft drinks and buffet in a fun party atmosphere on the Hall of Fame Campus. Then walk conveniently across the street to Fawcett Stadium for the Enshrinement Ceremony and NFL/Hall of Fame Game.
Do you have any tips or tricks to share?